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Pentecost stroll to support flood victims in Bangladesh 

Four generations of the congregation at Shipley Baptist Church, West Yorkshire, are to take part in a sponsored walk that will launch this year's Christian Aid Week in the area

ChristianAidShipleyEzra Jones (6), Alex Jones (37), the Revd Dr Keith Jones (65) and Ken Jones (92) (pictured, l-r) will join walkers from other churches in being sponsored to lap Robert’s Park in Saltaire as many times as they can.

It takes place between 11am and 4pm on Pentecost Sunday at the start of Christian Aid Week (15-21 May). Following the walk a Pentecost celebration will be held at the Bandstand with music from local singer-songwriter John Froud.

The funds raised will help Christian Aid support families in Bangladesh who have lost their homes to annual flooding.

Keith is the minister of Shipley Baptist Church and local Christian Aid organiser. He said, 'The people of Shipley and Saltaire are very generous and open-hearted and always support Christian Aid Week.

'Across the United Kingdom over 20,000 churches work together to raise funds. Last year in Shipley we raised over £8,000 during Christian Aid Week. We hope they will turn out to encourage and give to Christian Aid this year as we seek to help flood victims in Bangladesh.'

With the worsening condition of climate change many families have been forced to flee their homes, causing homelessness and hunger. These poor families who earn their living from agriculture are forced to adapt their farming methods to cope with their changing environment. This unpredictable weather condition is making it much harder for farmers to grow the food they need.

Bangladesh’s location, geography, large rivers and monsoon climate make it incredibly vulnerable to natural disasters, including floods and cyclones. Bangladesh is home to 160 million people - four fifths of whom live on less than £1.30 a day - making it one of the most densely populated countries on earth.

As a result of the climate change, average rainfall is rising, and as extreme rain and floods get more frequent, difficult dry spells in between them are getting longer. The rising sea level is also taking its toll, making the impact of cyclones even worse as sea water reaches further inland, and means 40 per cent of Southern Bangladesh’s farmland could one day be under water.

Christian Aid believes the most vulnerable do not have to be swept away by the tide of poverty and it is collaborating with GUK to provide support for families suffering with the consequences of annual floods, which destroy their home, belongings and lives, leaving them with nothing. A Christian Aid Home Safety Package (£250) provides an earth plinth, raising a home 6-8ft above water, creating a safe place for a family to rebuild their home and safely keep livestock. The package also includes a goat, seeds and a wormery, all of which will provide a long-term income.

You can help to change the lives of climate-affected families in places like Bangladesh this Christian Aid Week by donating online at www.caweek.org calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘SAFE’ to 70040 to give £5.  

Baptist Times, 05/05/2016
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